In the world of subwoofers, SVS and HSU (HSU Research) are two fairly popular subwoofer designers and manufacturers. In this article, we will be making a comparison of SVS vs HSU to see how they compare as companies and how their subwoofers stack up against each other.
SVS vs HSU Subwoofers Comparison Table
|Play very deep ~ 20Hz
|Excellent for music
|More expensive for the same output/performance
|Less expensive for the same output/performance
|Relatively good drivers
|Huge output, small size
|Typical subwoofer size
|Generally a bit larger
|Modern and sleek
SVS vs HSU Overview and History
HSU History and Overview
HSU Research began back in 1991 with the famous Dr. Hsu. He set out to create the world’s best subwoofer.
The fact that the company is still in existence speaks to the fact that he at least created something impactful.
Indeed, they made an impact when they hit the market and created some powerful subs and speakers. For example, their VTF series became quite popular.
SVS History and Overview
SVS’s original mandate was to hit the market with quality devices that challenged over-priced, underperforming so-called “high-end” subwoofers and speakers.
They wanted to bring immersive sound to everyone, not just audiophiles who can afford expensive equipment.
Today, the company is growing in strides which speaks to their passion for creating world-class speakers, subwoofers, and audio accessories.
Overall and in general, SVS and HSU Research are fairly well-known companies in the audio world, but SVS is larger.
HSU Sound Quality
Over the years, HSU remained true to its original mandate – to create the best subwoofers ever. Today, the company’s subwoofers excel. Systems set up with HSU subs sound great in the bass region.
The fact is, HSU subs are better than most subs on the market because of their specialization and dedication to producing excellent bass.
For example, the HSU ULS15 is an accurate rumbling monster. Their Ultra Linear Sealed Subwoofer (UL) line represents one of the most remarkable performances per dollar subs to date.
In general, HSU subwoofers are excellent for music. Another example of a powerful sub is the HSU VTF3 MKII. This subwoofer offers earth-shattering bass.
Another cool point to mention is the port flexibility of some of the HSU subs. With this feature, you can tweak output strength, or extension, to your listening preference. It’s a pretty cool feature that offers excellent value if you like tuning your subs.
SVS Sound Quality
In general, SVS subwoofers play deep, as real subwoofers should. In general, all SSV subs perform well. Even the low-cost ones like the SVS pb2000.
SVS and HSU offer excellent-sounding subs. SUS generally plays deeper, but HSU offers incredibly powerful subs.
Even though it’s a relatively small company, HSU does offer a pretty good bang for your buck.
For example, the VTF-3 MK5 HP or even the VTF-15H-MK2 will have a much higher output per dollar than most SVS subs.
SVS doesn’t offer the kinds of value for money that HSU provides. This is of course not to say that SVS doesn’t have excellent subs, they do, just that they are not as affordable as HSU for the same performance.
The fact is that there are more comparable options at lower price points than what SVS offers. For us, it’s all about quality and not necessarily a brand name. Once another sub offers the same quality at a lower price point, why purchase the more expensive sub?
The bottom line is that HSU provides excellent value for money while SVS offers excellent value at a higher price point. In fact, HSU offers some of the best performance subs for the money in the industry.
Take, for example, two comparable subs, the VTF1 MK3 which you can get for about $400. On the other hand, the SVS PB1000 will run you about $500.
Both HSU and SVS offer excellently built drivers. In this comparison, we will be looking at 12″ drivers.
HSU drivers excel in both sound quality and huge bass. Take the HSU Research PF-12100LP for example.
This is an excellent driver that can pump some serious output. The great thing about these drivers is that they require a relatively small enclosure. This means they are a great fit for compact home audio setups or a car audio system.
The PB12-Ultra/2 are SVS’s best drivers. They are very good drivers that offer great quality. However, you won’t get the low distortion available from XBL^2 technology.
When speaking about customer support, it helps to keep in mind that HSU is a smaller company than SVS.
HSU Customer Support
HSU customer support is what you would expect from a smaller company. They have dedicated phone lines and email addresses, but you may not get the type of support you would from a larger company with dedicated support teams.
This is not to say their support is incredibly lacking because you can speak to their agents who are very knowledgeable and will help you solve issues. We are just saying it may not be as easy as you would with a larger company.
SVS Customer Support
Firstly, SVS currently offers free freight even on their 60-day in-home trial return policy. This speaks to their guarantee and good customer support.
It’s a larger company likely with dedicated sales and support teams and so, they offer much better customer support.
Subwoofer Size, Design and Build Quality
Size, design, and build quality are some of the most important considerations for subwoofers. This is because subs tend to be large, placement is very important and design largely determines sound quality.
HSU Size, Design, and Build Quality
HSU build quality is solid, simply put. Their subs offer the type of quality that you would expect from custom-built options.
Of course, with this type of craftsmanship focused on durability, you don’t get the type of modern, sleek design that many people like.
Most HSU subs tend to look a bit older, meaning vintage. Additionally, HSU subs tend to be large, though their drivers aren’t necessarily too bulky.
SVS Size, Design, and Build Quality
SVS subwoofers can stand up to any modern sub in terms of sleek design quality. These subwoofers are well built from excellent designs using quality materials.
Room Filling Bass
Filling a large room with bass requires that the sub is able to move or pressurize lots of air which means size/volume.
HSU Subs and Room Size
HSU tends to have larger subs than SVS. Of course, these larger more powerful subs can fill a room easier. For example, HSU 15″ subwoofers are monsters at filling large rooms.
What’s cool about the HSU is you can change the response of the subwoofer by plugging one port, changing the Q value, and/or changing the EQ value. Let’s say you set EQ2 with both ports open to get more headroom, in this case, the sub will play louder but may not play as deep.
SVS Subs and Room Size
SVS subwoofers offer incredible “boom for the buck”. By this man, they offer good room-filling bass if you are trying to pressurize a fairly large room.
If you want to minimize the number of subs you have without having to try out too many subwoofer placement options in a large room, SVS is a good option.
Example Comparison: SVS pb1000 vs HSU VTF1 MK3
One of the most important factors to consider with a subwoofer is frequency response. This is particularly important when you consider professional studio systems when you are using reference speakers and reference amplifiers.
Now as far as these two subs are concerned, contrary to popular belief, the frequency response for the Pb1000 and VTF1 MK3 (in one port mode) are practically identical. The fact is, neither is deeper than the other.
The advantage of the HSU sub is that you can change the response of the subwoofer by plugging one port, changing the Q value, and/or changing the EQ value.
Remember we said SVS subs can go quite deep? The SVS pb1000 plays effectively down to 20hz.
Of course, this is the threshold of human hearing, so it’s as deep as you can get with a sub. The HSU VTF1 MK3 can get as low as 30 Hz. So, the SVS hits significantly deeper.
In terms of power, SVS is the winner here. The Pb1000 is much more powerful, at about 4dB higher which is quite significant.
In fact, the Pb1000 is about 3/2 times the power of the HSU VTF1 MK3. In other words, it would take three HSU VTF1 MK3 to equal a dual SVS Pb1000 setup.
The VTF1 MK3 which you can get for about $400. On the other hand, the SVS PB1000 will run you about $500.
Are SVS Subs The Best?
SVS Subs have a reputation for reproducing really good, full-sounding quality bass that is simply difficult to beat. They offer amazing quality at super affordable prices and are able to significantly outperform other subs in their price range. The bass from SVS subs is so tight and rich, yet produces an undistorted sound that can be felt in your chest.
Are SVS Subs Good For Music?
Although SVS subs do their best work with movies, they are absolutely great for reproducing multichannel music- especially if you’re all about that bass. It might take a little tweaking with the volume setting and room placement but once you find the right volume and space to fit your sub into, the musical synergy can be mind-blowing.
Are SVS Subwoofers Made In the USA?
Yes, they are. SVS is based in Youngstown, Ohio and they construct their subwoofers in the USA, import their amplifiers from Canada, and hand-build all their woofers locally with both local and imported parts.
Are SVS Subwoofers Worth The Money?
SVS subwoofers have amazing designs, are highly durable, and are extremely affordable for the value they offer, so absolutely, they are worth their price. These subs are unbelievably cost-effective with their performance and are hands down, a consumer favorite. They are highly rated amongst consumers, reviews, and critics and come very highly recommended.
SVS is a safe pick when it comes to subwoofers. They offer good performance/value so you really can’t go wrong with them. Moreover, if for some reason you’re not completely satisfied, you can send them back and support is not difficult to reach.
HSU also offers excellent subs with great value for money. If you like more vintage options that are durable and powerful, then HSU is a great choice.